A continuing tale of life in the boonies

No. 055

Born in the USA

The tragic death occurred last week of Buddy Michaud, Ten Rod Road, Farmington.

Featured several times in this column, Michaud had a brief but hard life that was dogged with bad luck - although it must be said that his gloomy existence was illuminated by a little kindness during his last few months on the earth. On Friday past, a moving burial service was held for him in Farmington town dump, and it was attended by five members of the family which latterly adopted him. A two-minute silence followed prayers led by Stella Michaud, who was inconsolable in her grief for several days afterwards.

Buddy Michaud began life as an egg less than 18 months ago and, on hatching, promptly fell out of the nest. "What a klutz!" some heartless folk may say, but let them be pigeons next time round.

Poor Buddy, rescued from the jaws of a prowling cur, then became the helpless victim of market-place trading, eventually being swapped for a bag of M&Ms, and winding up in the Show Biz apartment building on North Main Street, home to Lefty Lee, Sam on Piano and others. Soon after, perhaps because he lacked musical talent, possibly just because he was a tattered bird with a broken wing, Buddy was evicted.

Rescued from the gutter once more, Buddy resumed apartment dwelling in Winter Court, but this too was a short respite terminated on the harsh orders of the building's owner. Few in America love a loser.

Buddy appeared to get a break when kindly Stella Michaud took him into her Ten Rod Road trailer with winter coming on, but sharing quarters with five cats wasn't easy. Death was stalking Buddy Michaud. Last week he was badly mauled and lingered, despite love and attention, for only a couple of days. He died on Aug. 7, 1986.

Instead of flowers and cards of sympathy, Stella requests that donations should be sent to the National Audubon Society, 950 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10022. The name of Buddy Michaud lives on as one of the answers to the Hay Day quiz.

I respectfully append these lines:

"Oh bury me not in the town landfill"

These words came chirping sad and shrill

From the pallid beak of a youthful bird

On its dying bed on the Ten Rod Road

"Oh Bury me not..." and its voice failed there

So they paid no heed to its dying prayer

In a narrow grave, no more to trill,

They buried it there in the town landfill.

Pre-Hay Day Quiz: Well-known historian, Zeke Ghareeb, tests our wits with the following trivia question: "Name the odd one out - Franklin Pierce, Horace Greeley, Sarah Hale, Mary Baker Eddy, Robert Frost, U.S. Vice President Henry Wilson, Salmon P. Chase and Daniel Webster. Answer: Henry Wilson - all the others are famous New Hampshirites according to the World Almanac of 1986.

Lonely Heart Quiz: Being an eccentric, third world pauper, I find it perfectly understandable that I should be shunned by the female population of Farmington, and have accepted two years of isolation with stoical resignation. But now, invited to a champagne birthday party in the beautiful Shawnagunk Mountains of New York, I am seeking an escort for the evening of Aug. 30. If you are between 20-65 and can answer a literary question, call 755-2405, for a few hours of dancing and bubbly.

Q. - Who is the odd one out - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ivan Turgenev, Mikhail Bulgakhov, Henry Wilson, Nikolay Gogol? The exact location of the soiree is known to rock-climbers throughout the East Coast of the U.S.A. and is the narrow ledge 150 feet up the cliff route known as High Exposure. Up to 20 people can be accommodated if roped together. The sunset from this vantage point is marvelous, and with double ropes, the twilight descent does not present excessive technical difficulty. I have a spare climbing helmet, incidentally, if you are hanging back on that account. Don't delay, call today for an unforgettable evening. Formal dress, by the way!

Showbiz News: It is a joy to reveal that the oft-mentioned block on North Main Street which has given shelter to Mr. Lefty Lee, Sam on Piano and Buddy the Pigeon (briefly), has thrown up yet another jewel of the footlights, the talented Lee Merton. Lee recently made her stage debut in Waterford, Maine, where she was sawn in half by the Great Ladini. On Hay Day, Lee will be sawn in half next to Phyllis's book sale outside the Goodwin Library at approximately 10 a.m., just about the same time and place that the first dog will get spooked by a cat in the gymkhana. I hope the Great Ladini has nerves of steel, or a spare conjuror's assistant.

Selectmen's Meeting of Aug. 13, 1986: The dump padlock, that most controversial of inanimate objects, was again responsible for heated exchanges between local haulers on one side of the fence and town officials on the other. When the dust had settled the padlock was still in place and there were no more keyholders than before, with the possible exception of Vic Lapierre who revealed that he had "master keys for padlocks for miles around." Hmm!

Dick Smart and his Winter Street neighbors, Ruth and Bob Chase, spoke in impassioned terms about Kicking Horse Brook, which flows and floods through their property. They won a commitment that the town would ascertain within 30 days whose liability it was when the stream overflowed its banks. Ruth produced a petition containing 53 names of local residents asking that the brook be dredged. She also plonked a bedraggled object on the selectmen's table, which she alleged had been a new boot, prior to her falling in the water up to her waist. Her husband Bob, in an attempt to pull her out, had also fallen in. Sounds like synchronized swimming to me.

Long John Silver Agon: With hours to go before the world's first Long John Silver Agon, it seems like every stone in the county has been overturned in the search for the last four stuffed parrots. As a measure of my desperation, I am forced to accept my editor's bizarre offer of a stuffed iguana. (Thank you, Susan. What do you do with it the rest of the year?) Intrepid John Bohn of Foster's has indicated that he will suffer this deviant, provided that it is shoulder-trained.

Some concern has arisen over Mr. Lefty Lee of Lefty Lee and the Drifters, who has not been observed for a day or two. If you are out there Lefty, Alteration by Doris again reminds you that your sequined jacket is now ready for collection. The Sailor's Hornpipe will not be the same without it.

Aug. 18, 1986

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